Looking for a bloglines replacement?

I was, and I found an (almost) perfect replacement.

There is a catch to this though, my replacement suggestion requires you have your own server capable of running a php/mysql driven application.

For me, bloglines broke over a week ago and still doesn’t work right, so I needed to find a new way of reading my feeds. My main requirements was that I could read my feeds from a single source as I use multiple computers throughout my day. I really liked bloglines, and I’ve gotten completely used to it, so I was looking for something worked very similar to it.

I decided to try some server-side feed readings apps, such as FeedonFeeds and FeedonFeeds Redeux, but was completely underwhelmed by their functionality. Then I remembered an app I saw a while ago, but couldn’t remember the name. Fortunately I bookmarked it in del.icio.us back in January, and a quick scan of my del.icio.us tags brought it right up to the top.

It’s called Gregarius, and it is a server-side app that uses php, mysql, and ajax to create a fairly pleasant feed reading experience. The program is very simple to setup and use. I simply exported my feeds from bloglines and imported them in to Gregarius. The import did puke on a few of the feeds, but I just noted them and then manually added them later. However I still can’t get subscribed to the the househacker feed, it always fails.

Once my feeds where in, it was time to learn how to use it. At first I was not terribly impressed as I was so used to the bloglines way. But then I remember I didn’t care for bloglines when I switch to it from a desktop rss reader app. I just had to learn it and get used to the differences.

The default install of Gregarius is pretty vanilla, but there is a lot settings that can be changed, that for me, improved the usability. And much like WordPress, it has a plug-in system which you really need to look in to. There are some included plugins that just need to be enabled to improve usability even more. There is also a plugin repository where you can easily download plugins, then simply upload them in to the plugins directory and activate them.

After installing and a couple of hours tweaking, I’m really happy with the way this app performs. However it’s not perfect. I plan to note some things that I don’t like and features I’d like to see and forward those to the developers in hopes to make it even better.

If you’re wondering about future versions, I did an SVN checkout of the most current code(it seems to be under fairly active development) and installed it in a test directory and noticed there were some nice improvements. So I am looking for to the next release.

If you’re interested, you can see my working install here: http://www.cdavis.us/rssfeeds/

3 thoughts on “Looking for a bloglines replacement?”

  1. Thanks for the pointer. I saw your recent post about Bloglines acting weird (it was for me too) and I found another site detailing similar problems. Recently it has been behaving so I wasn’t looking to switch, but now I’m curious. That’s a lot of blogs to read. It must take you a decent amount of time to read them all.

  2. Well Bloglines is still not working properly for me even though they’ve claimed they’ve found and fixed the issue.

    And yes, too many feeds! :)

  3. Hi there,

    My site(househacker.com) was down for about 3 weeks or so due to my hosting provider suddenly switching platforms and breaking a lot of the functionality of my site (they switched to Windows/IIS and my site used a lot of apache’s .htaccess stuff). Anyway, the feed should be working now, and I hope to get posting again soon.

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